Historic city squares, old towns and villages in Spain

Plaza Mayor

The Plaza Mayor was built during Philip III"s reign (1598–1621) and is a central plaza in the city of Madrid. It is rectangular in shape, measuring 129 m × 94 m and is surrounded by three-story residential buildings having 237 balconies facing the Plaza. It has a total of nine entrance ways. The origins of the Plaza go back to 1577 when Philip II asked Juan de Herrera, a renowned Classical architect ...
Founded: 1617 | Location: Madrid, Spain

Plaza de España

The Plaza de España in the Parque de María Luisa was built in 1928 for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. It is a landmark example of the Regionalism Architecture, mixing elements of the Baroque Revival, Renaissance Revival and Moorish Revival (Neo-Mudéjar) styles of Spanish architecture. The plaza complex is a huge half-circle with buildings continually running around the edge accessible over the moat by numerous ...
Founded: 1928 | Location: Seville, Spain

Historic City of Toledo

Successively a Roman municipium, the capital of the Visigothic Kingdom, a fortress of the Emirate of Cordoba, an outpost of the Christian kingdoms fighting the Moors and, in the 16th century, the temporary seat of supreme power under Charles V, Toledo is the repository of more than 2,000 years of history. Its masterpieces are the product of heterogeneous civilizations in an environment where the existence of three major r ...
Founded: around 200 BC | Location: Toledo, Spain

Old City of Salamanca

This ancient university town of Salamanca was first conquered by the Carthaginians in the 3rd century B.C. It then became a Roman settlement before being ruled by the Moors until the 11th century. The university, one of the oldest in Europe, reached its high point during Salamanca's golden age. The city's historic centre has important Romanesque, Gothic, Moorish, Renaissance and Baroque monuments. The Plaza Mayor, with i ...
Founded: 3rd century BC | Location: Salamanca, Spain

Casco Viejo

Las Siete Calles or Casco Viejo are different names for the medieval neighbourhood of Bilbao. The names mean Seven Streets or Old Town respectively and it used to be the walled part of the town until the end of the 19th century. The name come from the oldest part of the neighbourhood which included exactly 7 streets and some much more narrow alleys connecting them, called cantons. The old quarter is an area of incr ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Bilbao, Spain

Plaza Nueva

The Plaza Nueva of Bilbao is a monumental square of Neoclassical style built in 1821. The square is enclosed by arcaded buildings and accessed by arches known as cuevas (caves). The main building was the site of the Biscay government, until a new palace was built in 1890. The place is now the site of Euskaltzaindia, the Basque language Royal Academy. The arches host many traditional taverns and restaurants, so ...
Founded: 1821 | Location: Bilbao, Spain

Plaza Mayor

Plaza Mayor is a central plaza in the city of Valladolid. Its existence became defined in the mid-thirteenth century when the market moved from the Plaza de Santa Maria to Market Square, which since the early sixteenth century has been called Plaza Mayor. Individual unions were installed around it, as was the Convent of San Francisco, until 1499 the most important building in the vicinity. After that date, as mandated ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Valladolid, Spain

Albaicín

The Albaicín retains the narrow winding streets of its Medieval Moorish past dating back to the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1984, along with the Alhambra. In the Albaicín there are numerous monuments from different periods, mainly the Nasrid period and the Renaissance. The traditional type of house is the carmen, consisting of a freestanding house surrounded by a high wall that ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Granada, Spain

Alcalá de Henares University

Founded by Cardinal Jiménez de Cisneros in the early 16th century, Alcalá de Henares was the world"s first planned university city. It was the original model for the Civitas Dei (City of God), the ideal urban community which Spanish missionaries brought to the Americas. It also served as a model for universities in Europe and elsewhere. The property includes a magnificent complex of historic buildings, such as the ...
Founded: 1499 | Location: Alcalá de Henares, Spain

Plaza de la Corredera

Plaza de la Corredera is the result of the works carried out between 1683 and 1687 by Chief Magistrate Francisco Ronquillo Briceño. These were motivated by the almost collapse of one of the wooden stalls that were back then installed for the bullfightings held in the square which made the audience panic. This grand 17th-century square has an elaborate history as a site of public spectacles, including bullfights and Inqu ...
Founded: 1683-1687 | Location: Córdoba, Spain

Mogrovejo

Mogrovejo is a small village of the municipality of Camaleño. Mogrovejo was declared a historical site and site of cultural interest. Monuments include a medieval tower from the end of the 13th century and the church Our Lady of the Assumption from the 17th century. The church has a rectangular nave covered by rib-vaults, with a baroque altar, and a 16th century crucifix. The baroque altarpiece contains the coat of arm ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Camaleño, Spain

Salinillas de Buradón

Salinillas de Buradón is a fortified town that keeps a great part of its defence walls. Due to its location, in the border of the Rioja Alavesa region, its defence was fundamental in the Middle Ages. In 1264, the nobleman don Sancho ordered the movement of its population to its current location and the contruction of these walls, for which limestone was prominently used. In the 16th and 17th centuries, on the other han ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Labastida, Spain

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Kalozha Church

The Kalozha church of Saints Boris and Gleb is the oldest extant structure in Hrodna. It is the only surviving monument of ancient Black Ruthenian architecture, distinguished from other Orthodox churches by prolific use of polychrome faceted stones of blue, green or red tint which could be arranged to form crosses or other figures on the wall.

The church is a cross-domed building supported by six circular pillars. The outside is articulated with projecting pilasters, which have rounded corners, as does the building itself. The ante-nave contains the choir loft, accessed by a narrow gradatory in the western wall. Two other stairs were discovered in the walls of the side apses; their purpose is not clear. The floor is lined with ceramic tiles forming decorative patterns. The interior was lined with innumerable built-in pitchers, which usually serve in Eastern Orthodox churches as resonators but in this case were scored to produce decorative effects. For this reason, the central nave has never been painted.

The church was built before 1183 and survived intact, depicted in the 1840s by Michał Kulesza, until 1853, when the south wall collapsed, due to its perilous location on the high bank of the Neman. During restoration works, some fragments of 12th-century frescoes were discovered in the apses. Remains of four other churches in the same style, decorated with pitchers and coloured stones instead of frescoes, were discovered in Hrodna and Vaŭkavysk. They all date back to the turn of the 13th century, as do remains of the first stone palace in the Old Hrodna Castle.

In 2004, the church was included in the Tentative List of UNESCO"s World Heritage Sites.